Another heat wave moved into the State late in the week, further reducing soil moisture and inflicting moderate to severe stress on row crops and pastures. Rain is needed to fill corn kernels, set soybean pods, restart pasture growth, and fill ponds. Reporters have yet to see disease and insect pressure, saving the crops further stress. Topsoil moisture supplies are 35 percent very short, 43 percent short, 21 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. All districts saw declines except the south-central, which remained stable. The west-central, central, and southwest districts all rate under 10 percent in the adequate to surplus categories. There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn silking is virtually complete. Fifty-nine percent of the crop is in dough stage, slightly behind last year but slightly ahead of the normal pace. Corn in the dent stage has reached 20 percent, about 2 days ahead of both last year and average. Reporters saw a substantial decline in corn condition, raising concerns of poor kernel fill and the loss of top-end yields. The crop is rated 4 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 8 percent excellent, a decline of 9 percentage points in good to excellent. The northwest, central, and east-central districts all experienced sharp deterioration of just under 20 points. Despite the drop in condition, this year’s crop on a statewide basis is still rated 22 points better in good to excellent than last year’s corn crop at this time. Soybean blooming is at 74 percent, 1 day behind last year but 5 days ahead of average. Pod setting is at 33 percent, 2 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the 5-year average of 30 percent. Condition of the bean crop is rated 4 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 42 percent good, and 6 percent excellent, a drop of 4 percentage points in good to excellent. Extreme heat has caused concern about pods aborting. Sorghum heading has reached 74 percent, 2 days ahead of last year and over 1 week ahead of normal, while 10 percent is turning color, about even with last year and normal. Condition of the crop is rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 56 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. Thirty-four percent of the rice crop is headed, 4 days behind last year but even with average. Rice condition was stable from last week at 2 percent poor, 11 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 34 percent excellent. Cotton squaring is virtually complete at 98 percent. Cotton setting bolls is 84 percent complete, over 1 week ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of average. In contrast to other crops, cotton condition improved over last week to 5 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 8 percent excellent, up 7 percentage points in good to excellent. The third cutting of alfalfa is 57 percent harvested, 4 days ahead of last year and 9 days ahead of normal.
Pasture condition is rated 31 percent very poor, 35 percent poor, 25 percent fair, and 9 percent good. There is concern about lack of feed and water for cattle, as pastures lie dormant and pond levels continue to drop. Producers in central and southwestern areas have been feeding supplemental hay for several weeks, but reporters indicate that supplemental feeding is now becoming necessary nearly statewide. Heat stress is also evident in cattle.
Temperatures were as much as 6 degrees above average in central and northern counties, while the Bootheel was 2 to 4 degrees below normal. A few locations, such as Columbia, Versailles, and Green Ridge saw extreme highs for the week at or above 100 degrees. Rainfall averaged 0.48 inches statewide. By area, the north-central district received 0.17 inches, while the northwest and west-central each received 0.23. All other districts saw 2/3 inches or less with the exception of the southeast, where 1.43 inches fell, including 5.84 inches in Dunklin County.
|District Summaries As Of July 30, 2006|
|Days Suitable For Fieldwork|
|Topsoil Moisture Supply|
|Corn Dough Stage and Beyond, Percent|
|Corn Dented, Percent|
|Soybeans Blooming and Beyond, Percent|
|Soybeans Setting Pods and Beyond, Percent|
|Sorghum Headed and Beyond, Percent|
|Sorghum Turning Color and Beyond, Percent|
|Alfalfa Hay 3rd Cutting, Percent|